Write

Writing is something that comes naturally to some people. To me it is hard work. Writing requires one to use their brain, to think, to imagine, to postulate logical arguments. Today, my brain is in a mode which says “preserve your energy.” Why? That is a great question. Most likely it is because I changed my life pattern last evening and went to sleep a good two hours later than usual. When I finally collapsed into bed I found sleep fast, and it went uninterrupted for six hours. Even my sleep interrupting bladder was quiet last night.

As I write this I am struggling with what idea or theme I should follow, but I know that if I continue to spew words a theme will evolve. So far nothing.

Yesterday, was day one of a three day move-in by my step grandson. He has finally made a life altering decision to leave his father’s ghost behind in the house they lived in for seven years. Seventeen months ago, his father was snuffed in an accident involving a car and his motorcycle. After extensive investigation by police over the course of six months they determined it to be a no fault accident. Freddie was driving his BMW bike too fast and a little old lady in an SUV turned left immediately in front of him. Needless to say Freddie planted himself into the passenger seat of the Lexus. His death was sudden, at least we assume it was, and it was followed by a gasoline fire. The coroner would not release the body until he had verified it was him by dental records.

The sudden death of his father, friend, mentor, left Gerry in shock, and his grand-mother in a state of deep shock at the loss of her only son. Since Freddie was an only child his entire estate instantly transferred to his only remaining heir, his son. Think about that, one second you are a free thinking, free living twenty-seven year old, and the next second your responsibility became monumental.

The step grand son has handled that responsibility well, but coming home at night to an empty house to his father’s cat made him miserable. He finally cried uncle and I suggested maybe he should come live with us. It took but a nano-second for him to accept the offer, and his life instantly changed for the better.

When he arrived yesterday with the moving truck and opened the cargo door, the realization hit me that I did this to myself. I saw a huge truck load of furniture, enough to fill a five room house, about to be unloaded into my castle. Today, another load comes, and tomorrow a third load with the contents of a two car garage. After all of the stuff, he too will come and we will become a happy family of three plus a cat.

I knew it would happen. I started writing and I wound up finding a theme that I could write a book about, but won’t. I got it off my chest and now I begin to love this new life.

Marked “Confidential”

During my career I worked in several companies. My first job during college was with International Harvester Co. Advanced Research dept. I never worried about keeping my work secret because I was a grunt who never got close to anything confidential. After graduation from college, I began as a rookie for Danly Machine Company. Even though I earned engineer wages my work involved helping a journeyman assembler on the production floor at night. I was kept in the “dark.” Eventually, I graduated into the R&D department working on customized machines. Next, I ventured upward to the Electromotive Division of General Motors in the R&D department. At least at GM I did some serious design work on a super secret project involving a Sterling engine. Two years later, I moved to Westinghouse Air Brake formally named WABCO. My job was Senior Design Engineer for a line of quarry mining machines. It was the first time that was working on a product that someone would actually put to work. One of my proudest projects was to design the world’s largest jaw crusher built to order for a mining company in the Yukon Territory of Canada. They mined, what today is probably outlawed, asbestos ore. I learned that asbestos is found in nature in the form of fibers. In the Yukon the fiber was exceptionally long making this particular asbestos extremely valuable. The problem is that it was found in permafrost. Permafrost being frozen earth is as hard as ice and requires blasting, digging, and crushing to a manageable size. My crusher was used to break huge boulders of frozen asbestos into smaller chunks. Since no one ever went to the Yukon they never saw my machine work, and it didn’t need to be a secret.

Things changed drastically when I left WABCO to begin work for a plastics manufacturer named PANDUIT. If the owner ever heard me call his business plastics manufacturing he would fire me on the spot. We made ELECTRICAL products from plastic. Panduit was steeped in security. On day one I had to sign non-disclosure agreements, and swear upon a bible to keep my mouth shut even to my immediate family about what I, or the company did. They issued a badge for the sole purpose of opening doors. Each door was programmed and my badge was coded only to get in and out of the space I worked in. Information was doled out on a need to know basis. Since I was totally new, I didn’t need to know anything, and was kept in the dark about how my project was to fit in the scheme of things. As time moved on so did I. My need to know eventually expanded to know just about everything in the division. We taught our people to label our internal correspondence on products, and processes as “Confidential”. It wasn’t long before everything we did within engineering department was labeled confidential. It was too difficult to define what was, and what wasn’t, so we erred on the side of safety by marking everything with “Confidential.”

This practice made my retirement move-out very easy, I sorted my documents into two piles, save and shred. The rule was to wind up with one very short pile of save, and a mountain of shred. It worked and I never moved any documents to my home.

This long story is the result of my hearing how the FBI raided Past President Donald Trump’s home looking for precious confidential documents. Trump should have learned from Hillary that the safe way was to destroy all evidence of documentation, both paper and electronic, and to worry about consequences later. How can anyone accuse you of stealing secret documents if they don’t exist anymore?

PSA-220819-Book Report

This morning I finished reading a book titled “The Lies I tell” by Julie Clark. I opened GrumpaJoesPlace on WordPress to log the book into my booklist page. Surprise, surprise, my list has been corrupted. Some electronic gremlin has removed all of my 2022 reads and two thirds of my 2021 reads. No one ever looks at this list, except me. I use it to refer books I have read to friends. The page serves as a history of my reading. I show the title, author, the type of reading it is, such as fiction, history, etc. and my rating. Usually, if I like a book I give it five stars. I’ve noticed that many non-fiction books only have two or three stars. It tells me that I’d rather read stories than factual accounts. After fiction my next favorite class is history or historical fiction.

I’ve contacted the happiness engineers at Word Press to help me restore this file. I was able to locate a back up which has 28 entries for 2022. I read a book a week, and at this point I should be on number thirty, this back-up is not too far away. The good thing is I found the back up, the bad thing is I am too stupid to know how to actually restore it to the Blog site.

A few years ago, our library dumped the Dewey Decimal system of classifying books. I complained bitterly to the director, but my voice rolled off like water from a duck’s back. I had to join the modern age of computers they said. Since then I notice that the books come with a label that classifies the type of reading it is. Hmmm, it finally sunk in that putting books on shelves at random would only cause chaos. The moderns have finally realized that even computers need some classification scheme to help them locate material. Dumping Dewey has made it easier for library staff to shelve books. Shelving by a simple class and the author alphabetically removes the strain caused by trying to determine decimally which slot a particular volume fits into. Anyway, I have joined the moderns and have accepted their new system, I had no other choice.

I’ll end with a short synopsis of The Lies I Tell. Although it is fiction, it has to be based on history because the author has told a story about a lady conman with such detail that it had to be taken from an actual source. The principle character in this tale is a young lady who becomes homeless because her dying mother was desperate for funds, and fell prey to a man who stole her savings and her home, then evicted her and her grammar school kid. Mother and daughter wound up living out of their car. The mother dies and the daughter is left to her own choices, she chose to become a grifter. The story held my interest throughout simply because of the uniqueness of this grifter’s style. Her motives for selecting marks made me think of Robin Hood who stole from the rich so he could give to the poor. She picked on men who take advantage of women. She did it in a way that kept them from getting police involved. This is a five star read.

PSA-220818-Wierd Names

If the list below looks fuzzy it is because it is, your eyes are okay. I lifted this from Facebook and it looked fuzzy to me there. So most likely it is a copy of a copy of a copy,

18. Remember to always tittle your “i’s” and cross your “t’s”

8. My wine club held a debate last week about to little thing-a-ma-jig found in the center of the pizza box. No one suggested it was a “box tent.”

16. I call the difficulty of getting out of bed in the morning as “not having enuf sleep.”

4. I call the wamble of my stomach a growl.

17. I say IIlegible hand writing is called flunking the Palmer method

9. The day after tomorrow is called Saturday.

Good Grief?

After experiencing grief for nineteen years it is my conclusion that there is nothing good about it. My lovely, beautiful, caring, adoring wife Barbara died on this day nineteen years ago. I write this at three hours past the time she expired in 2003. Over the last few years this day has not crossed my mind as sharply as it has this year. All I know is that suddenly, like the piercing pain that shot down my back last week I am laden with depression. This phenomenon is not new to me. For years after she died I would fall into depression at the beginning of July and be miserable for the next two months. The first day of July, 2003 is when she went into the hospital with peritonitis, and never returned. The memory of her last days has faded over the years except, this year it is as sharp and clear as it has ever been.

My writing frequency has diminished over the last two months, and I am now beginning to believe that it is because of my depression. Usually, once I realize why I’m not able to think of anything to write about I attribute it to depression. One way I can dig myself out of the hole is to express my feelings to the ether of the internet. Once they are out of my mind my soul is once again free to soar.

A friend who writes the Just Cruising blog is currently going through a similar change. The writer is taking time off to rethink why he has a blog in the first place. I too have to remember why I began this journey. I know for fact that my original goal was to promote the benefits of positive thinking. I have strayed from that path and instead immersed myself in the idiocy of trying to persuade people to my conservative ideas. That was fun for a while but after achieving failure, I switched to just plain story telling; find a subject and tell the story about how that topic came into my life. I must have run out of topics because that no longer amuses me. So now, I find myself writing about myself and my depression triggered by grief.

In the days after Barb died, on a scale of one to ten, with ten being maximum unbearable pain, my grief was at a hundred. Slowly, ever so slowly over the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years it softened to where I would place it at about a four. Then 2022 hit me right square between the eyes and I am back to ten. I thank God it is no longer at one hundred.

One way I coped with grief was to remarry. I found a beautiful lady who was also a widow. She totally understood my emotions as she experienced them also. We were happy for fifteen years together. Our shared grief was mild, but still present. Unfortunately, after ten years she contracted a disease that caused her to forget who I was. We were faithful lovers and friends to the end.

Grief didn’t hit me as hard the second time, but it was certainly there. I think the first round hardened my soul to resist the emotion. Now that I think about it, my current depression began around late June, which is when she died three years ago. Add that to the first grief beginning in July and I wonder why I am having trouble? I am experiencing a super nova of grief. Maybe it is because of the way the planets are aligned and the moon is circling.

At this point of my tome of over 600 words I realize that I am embarking on the very first session of blogging therapy which no doubt will begin digging me out of the trench in which I landed. That my friends is why I probably have been doing this for so many years, it is a form of therapy for me.